From skateboarding to singletrack – Etnies new MTB shoe

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The Camber CL design is sleek and understated. (Photo: Etnies)
The Camber CL design is sleek and understated. (Photo: Etnies)
  • Skateboarding shoes have long been a favourite with street BMX riders.
  • Etnies is one of the world’s most popular skateboarding shoe brands.
  • The American company has now launched its first clipless mountain bike shoe, bringing skateboarding style to trail riding.

Shoes are an essential component for skateboarders and mountain bikers – with form having more value than function.

Although many fashion sneakers are influenced by skateboarding design, what makes a skateboarding shoe so different, is underneath. Having a shoe with the correct balance of sole grip and comfort is crucial for skateboarders to retain control when completing intricate tricks and flips.

Etnies has been in the skateboarding business since 1986. The company also makes flat pedal shoes for freestyle and dirt jumping mountain bikers, called the Camber.

There is a new mountain bike option for riders who remember Etnies from their teenage years – as skateboarders or fashion scious teens.

Etnies has been making flat pedal mountain bike shoes for a few years. But this one can take a cleat. (Photo: Etnies)

Comfy on and off the bike 

Etnies has evolved its Camber mountain bike range to include a new CL version – capable of matching with clipless pedals.

The move from a flat pedal sole, to one with a cleat-box, hasn’t changed the Camber’s Formula G rubber. That rubber compound has made Etnies popular as skateboarding and BMX riding shoes.

Targeted at trail and enduro riders, Etnies know that some of its Camber CL riders will hike-and-bike. To facilitate the best off-bike walking experience in steep and loose terrain, are aggressive grip lugs at the front and rear of the soles.

Keeping these Etnies Camber CL shoes securely in place is a combination of laces and velcro straps. The laces don’t use conventional eyelets but thread through fabric loops.

Preventing the irritation of trail debris (twigs and stones) getting inside the Camber CLs, footwear designers have given it a ‘secret sock’ wraparound fabric tongue.

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